Complete the CENSUS and Continue to Shelter-in-Place ……
By Imam Talib Shareef Resident Imam Masjid Muhammad The Nation’s Mosque
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As-Salaam Alaykum and Blessed Ramadan.
We are now ending the middle period of the month of Ramadan and our consciousness has been heightened from fasting. We are more grateful to Almighty G-d, and we reflect on the wisdom, beauty, wonders, truth, design and the order of creation.
By thinking on G-d’s Great Wonders, we are kept powerful and very much alive amidst this global pandemic. Our mind (the inner being) is awakened, and it makes us stand up independent of the outer body. We do not fast to merely fight the enemies of the spiritual man. We fast to fight the enemies of the total man.
We fast for G-d’s pleasure. And while fasting, we are conscious of the need to appreciate and respect both man and the outer world as the creation of the Almighty God. As we nurture the best of our human sensitivities, we can’t help but register the current plight affecting humanity.
Coronavirus cases are passing 4.4 million worldwide, with the current death toll worldwide at 297,682 (press date May 15, 2020). The U.S. has plainly become the worst affected country in the world with more than 1.44 million cases, an increase of 2.4% over a week’s time and deaths rising 3.9 percent, standing now to over 85,846.
In our local area, Maryland has over 35,900 cases, Virginia more than 27,813, and DC with over 6,736 cases. And consider that most U.S. regions are not conducting enough diagnostic tests to begin easing social distancing restrictions.
A recent study by NPR and the Harvard Global Health Institute suggested less than 20 percent of U.S. states have met or exceeded a testing threshold sufficient to relax social distance measures.
Meanwhile, another 3.17 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week of May 8, bringing the total to more than 33 million since the coronavirus began closing restaurants, factories, and offices from coast to coast in mid-March.
And this is despite the fact a $2-trillion Stimulus Bill has been signed, making it the largest emergency relief package in U.S. History.
We are living in a critical moment and the stakes for our community have never been higher. The COVID 19 crisis has shown just how our community is disproportionately impacted when a health crisis hits the nation.
Although the coronavirus itself is not racist, recent media reports show racial disparities highlighting that African Americans are dying from it at disproportionately higher rates. This is because, as a population, we have inadequate access to quality healthcare services and a high incidence of health issues including diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.
We are dying more because our communities were already at high risk. While many naturally feel vulnerable, there is something we can do now to limit further disenfranchisement: Complete the 2020 Census. Certainly, this current pandemic requires our attention, but so does the 2020 Census.
Many of you may have disregarded this as another piece of spam mail, particularly as our schools, businesses, and houses of worship remain shuttered. Understandably, it’s easy to lose sight on completing the Census amid the staggering daily coronavirus statistics.
But even in this moment of crisis, this seemingly innocuous paper is just too important to ignore. This is because responding to the Census now will help determine how our communities will fare in the foreseeable future.
We at The Nation’s Mosque, to assist those in need, have packaged, delivered and distributed another 10,000 lbs of food – this time to the Sinai Baptist Church elderly complex. We continue to be aware of the impact this virus has on our elderly, veterans, sick and shut in. Our religion teaches us that protecting human life is the number-one-priority.
Ramadan is a special month for giving, and if you can, please donate to the Masjid. [Read Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:261] As we continue providing appropriate services during this time of crisis, please continue to help us be of service to you and those in need, by making an online contribution here:
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I assure you, the dawn is coming. Ramadan Mubarak!